Separation anxiety in dogs is a result of the way some dogs react to being left alone. Most dogs are more than happy being left alone but some react badly and can whine, howl, chew, mess and generally be very annoying and destructive. Rescue dogs have already been abandoned once so its important you work on issues like SA from the minute you get your new dog home and build up to the time when you will have to leave him, even if that’s just to go for the shopping.
If you dog has SA, then in the short term you could use a crate. This will allow you to be more relaxed when you walk into the house because you know he can’t have caused any damage. Using DAP diffusers and collars often work as they release pheromones which help your dog relax. Zyklene tablets are also very useful for dogs with anxiety. They are herbal based and available online without a prescription – we have had very good feed back from owners who have used Zyklene.
In the long term, they are 3 rules you need to apply if you wish to control the SA.
- Cool Off Your Relationship With Your Dog
- Establish Yourself As Pack Leader
- Make Sure Your Dog Is Getting Enough Exercise
Establish Yourself As Pack Leader
It’s not difficult to establish yourself as pack leader, you will need to make some small changes to your daily routine to show the dog you are in charge. Greyhounds rarely want to be pack leader but they are happier when they know what is expected of them, they have routine, and they live in a stress free environment. If you are stressed long term, it will change the behaviour of your dog. If you mess about pandering to your dog when he has SA, you will make him worse – make up the rules and stick with them.
- Don’t feed your dog until all of the family has eaten
- Always make him do something for a treat or attention – even just a simple sit.
- Always walk through doors first
- Don’t let him on your bed or furniture
- Have space that is just yours – using a baby gate helps
- Do daily training with him
Make Sure He Is Getting Enough Exercise
Lots of behavioral issues are born out of lack of exercise and once the dog is getting more mental and physical stimulation, the dog becomes better behaved and is happier. The same goes for SA. If you dog is tired he is less likely to misbehave! Pick up some exercise tips here.
Once your dog has settled into home life you can start to relax the rules – greyhounds and lurcher love to be on the sofa with you having a cuddle.
Lazy Alex in the photographs doesn’t have SA, he just loves his mum. When she goes out he just sleeps.